Tonight I was searching a video streaming site for something totally different when the giallo film The Perfume of the Lady in Black by Francesco Barilli came up in my results. Having just seen this recommendation from fellow surrealist DC online, I took the opportunity to watch it. One striking coincidence occurred. The film has a scene which features a music box containing a ballerina figurine, presented to the main character, Silvia, by an Alice-like incarnation of her childhood self. Silvia recognizes the figurine as one from her childhood because of its missing arm. The thing is… I had seen and photographed this exact ballerina figure in Ottawa. It was EXACTLY the same as one I had taken a photo of a while back while browsing a junk store. How exact? Not only the same make—the same arm is missing.
We who love love, always flood floods. On May 2nd 2019 the Ottawa river peaked in a flood that beat records set in the last major flood in the spring of 2017. Accordingly, SH, PP, JA and L of the Ottawa surrealist group assembled at the flooded zone on Britannia beach and continued our tradition of flood investigations (see here for some intimations of what was discovered in 2017). Wandering the waterline, we dreamed collectively at the strange formations and detritus we found at our feet.
Highlights of the excursion included:
The detection of a flood astronomy—the reversion of ground to sky and the flooded concordances with well known stars and constellations (sagitarius, cancer, gemini, the dog star…)
Flood erotica—an orgy of sandbags, condoms, heaps of ooze, the live copulation of a pair of gulls
The methodological nivellation of different species of golems; the creation of slime and shrubs and gulls, as low level homunculi; that white sandbags might be brought to life as gulls
The discovery of the grey lantern and indications of a visit from the Hermit card, Arcanum 9
A visitation from a pink shark, heretofore unseen in the Ottawa river
A puzzling witch trial for heretical trees indicated by heaps of wood for a burning at the stake
Paranoiac driftwood, including a burnt foot, a Lovecraftian entity, an eagle, and a few formless masses of exquisite beauty
We then assembled in the lobby of the not-entirely-flooded Kolbus Community Centre to write an impromptu collective poem on our subjective experiences of the flood phenomena. Here is an extract:
Each ripple constricts and squeezes out a duck. Brambleberg and soggy bones, and the whole scene a whisper that says the reflection is all wrong.
As the grey lantern cast its rays of anti-light it rained and melted the eyeless golems of the cloud homunculus.
Call me Ishmael, afloat on a melted jellyfish, I sing of snows sent to Grecian graves that never see a seagull’s handwriting.
I lost the way to the footbridge of shadow.
My own cause is swept up in lightning’s gloss river.
A goose demon howls for myopia’s end.
The more detailed insights and data, along with a lot of unpublished interpretations from the 2017 flood, may one day be assembled, analyzed and made available in a future issue of /kaɪˈmɪərə/.
Always trust the man with the hat; The shadowman leads an alien into a black void. An alien headed child. There’s an eyeball at the bottom of the poll. A soviet criminal murderer. She bled her shadow on the wall inappropriately. There’s a hole in the sign, The sign looks like a tree…
All the broken symbols beckon from the window And with a bolt it strikes and fractures the glass into insignificant specks Under the microscope they resemble a stain on an inside-out goat.
-JA, PP, MM, interpreting photos sent to us from Graz by Dunja Apostolov on July 16th 2018